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32o                 HISTORY OF PERSIA         CHAP,
force, and Turkish anxiety was never aroused by Persian
policy, which at most aspired to regain Baghdad or Erivan
and attempted nothing more than raids to ^the west of
these strongholds. Beyond the eastern frontiers of Iran,
Samarcand to the north and Delhi to the south were
equally safe from any danger of a Persian invasion. The
Safavis cannot therefore take rank with the Achaemenian
or Sasanian dynasties, which created world empires ; for
they played a secondary r61e on the stage of history and
were content if they maintained the ancient limits of
Persia. Nevertheless, the prestige of the dynasty is very
high among Persians owing to its national and religious
character, and perhaps also to the recognition of its
brilliance by European writers.